(the stream of consciousness review)
Brutal sexual contact (the kind that makes Tom Dubois from the Boondocks stay on the straight and narrow path), revenge, violence, serial killers, Nazis, graphic female nudity, thin bisexual “Emo” chicks, car/motorcycle chase(s), and the overarching theme of a whodunit - combine to form the American adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s “thriller” The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Sorry, Stieg. I gave the book a shot, but I was bored well into the book and you only get between 50-75 pages to pique my interest. FAIL. Some 30 million copies later, I doubt you’re looking for the approval of ThatDude – but you should be. For those who haven’t read the book (again, I have a copy, if you need it), I hear that it really picks up after the first 100 pages; I just don’t give a Swedish fish. I’m onto the next one.
Inevitably, people compare the American adaptation to the original Swedish version. Conventional wisdom says that I should do the same. Nah, homey. This is America! I aint gotta do nuthin but eat Wendy’s and complain about politicians & “smart” phones. Forget the Swedish version. We got stars like Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Joely Richardson, and Rooney Mara - plus we’ve got the genius of David Fincher at the helm. Who’d they have? Roomi something and Nyqvist… Nyquil… whatever. When it comes to movies, America could tell the rest of the world what Harpo said in The Color Purple “dis here our juke joint!”

David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network) - Director
Steven Kaillan (Schindler’s List, American Gangster) - Writer
Stieg Larsson (Dragon Tattoo Series) – Source Writer
Rooney Mara (The Social Network) – Lisbeth Salander – the Girl with the Dragon Tat
Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace) – Mikael Blomkvist
Christopher Plummer (Priest, Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) – Henrik Vanger
Stellan Skarsgard (Thor, Melancholia*) – Martin Vanger
Robin Wright (The Conspirator**, Moneyball) – Erika Bergman
Joely Richardson (The Patriot, TV’s Nip/Tuck) – Anita Vanger
* Aside: Melancholia was depressing, beautifully shot, and a definite competitor for one of the not so good Shammi Awards – so very overhyped.
**Bside: Fellow history-buffs – pick up the Conspirator when you get a chance. Sure, it’s preachy (it’s a Robert Redford flick), but it’s pretty good too.

Blomkvist (Craig) is retained by Henrik Vanger (Plummer) to help him find out which one of his psychotic family members killed his beloved granddaughter some 40-ish years ago. This same killer has sadistically been tormenting Henrik annually since the girl was killed. Blomkvist, an embattled reporter, in turn hires the crafty waif-like super-emo investigator, Lisbeth Salander (Mara) to help him “catch a killer of women.” Lisbeth, an adult ward of the state, is a bit touched herself (you don’t find out the genesis of her psychosis until the sequel), but let’s just say, this poor woman has had a rough like verging on torture porn. She’s like a Swedish-Precious but with access to mad doe (of the non edible variety) and in dire need of a hamburger.
Rooney Mara was AWESOME. Shammi Award worthy, fo sho’, but the rest of the film was underwhelming. Let me say that again, ROONEY MARA was AWESOME! There’s a lot that could and should have made the cutting room floor. I’m not a “purist” when it comes to books. If you want all the stuff that’s in the book, read the damned book again. I think books are books and movies are movies – some things do not translate.
While Stieg’s book may have been literary brilliance, the movie is not the film equivalent. Fincher strikes an appropriate tone for the content, but overall The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is like a mash-up of a Troublemaker and Vivid Entertainment film. Translation: It’s a mash-up of Quentin Tarantino flick with a porn flick (sans the moneyshots). Whether you admit it or not, I guarantee most of you have enjoyed some significant portion of one or the other… but imagine if either or a mash-up of the two lasted for nearly 3 HOURS! Under no circumstances should that happen.
Definitely a decent flick, but BETTER NOT BRING YO’ KIDS!
BONUS COVERAGE: I have nowhere to fit this comment in so I’m just gonna throw this out there – I love WOMEN. The things you critique about other women never ceases to astound. It was interesting how the supposed group of well-read learned female audience goers (on the movie’s release date) were focused on how Rooney’s breasts were still “so nice, especially with how thin she was.” I KID YOU NOT. This was the topic of conversation with not 1, not 2, but 3 separate groups of women I eavesdropped on as I exited the theater. Granted, my eavesdropping powers tend to sharpen around women talking about sex-related stuff, but still... Really, ladies? There’s at least two more important things than those two things for you to discuss, but her boobs and Rooney’s accent are the things that garnered most of your immediate attention? ‘Tis truly a strange strange society we live in.
ImTHATdude gives Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: 3
5 = You should be about halfway to the theatre by now… Well… GET!
4 = Definitely worth the bread. Niiice.
3 = I won’t cuss anybody out and demand my paper back.
2 = Somewhere SOUTH of under-whelmed./I know it has a pulse, but…
1 = Not a good look. They played me AND I played myself.


  1. like you, the book BORED ME TO TEARS. it literally took me 4 or 5 months to finish the bastard. i had to force myself to read it. and i had to read to the end - once i start a book, i must finish it...just a rule i have. anyway, thanks for the rating. i'll probably see it - on video.

  2. Everyone swears the book picks up after the first hundred pages, but I just didn't care enough to read it. In fairness, I rarely read fiction anyway (although I am on the second Game of Thrones book now and that's pretty good - can't see myself reading all 5 books, but so far so good). But GwDT bored me, so I moved on. From the box office stats, looks like there's a lot of folks who are going to wait for the DVD. It'll be good to watch at home.
    BTW: Love the tag "barefootandvintage" - nice.


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